January rates announced for FortisBC natural gas customers
Dec 7, 2018
SURREY, BC – FortisBC has received regulatory approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) on its interim rates for natural gas customers to take effect January 1, 2019. Although customers will see an overall increase to their bills, natural gas continues to be one of the most affordable energy solutions.
“We strive to deliver natural gas safely and reliably at the lowest reasonable cost,” said Diane Roy, vice-president of Regulatory Affairs, FortisBC. “Keeping natural gas rates low for customers is important to us but there has been an impact to our costs associated with actions we had to take to stabilize our natural gas supply following the Enbridge pipeline rupture.”
Below is the breakdown of residential changes for each region. Rates will be effective January 1, 2019.
- Residential customers in the Mainland and Vancouver Island service area will see an approximate overall annual increase of nine per cent or $68 based on an average annual usage of 90 gigajoules (GJ).
- Residential customers in Fort Nelson will see an approximate annual increase of seven per cent or $51 based on an average annual usage of 125 GJ.
- Residential customers in Revelstoke receiving piped propane will see an approximate annual decrease of 11 per cent or $108 based on an average annual usage of 50 GJ.
The rate changes for all customers are interim and subject to regulatory review by the BCUC. Permanent rate decisions are expected in the first quarter of 2019, which, once received, may result in a bill adjustment for customers.
Next year also marks the first year where natural gas customers in Fort Nelson are receiving an unbundled bill. Fort Nelson has moved to a rate structure where the gas commodity and delivery are shown as separate line items on a customer’s bill. This includes the fixed daily or monthly basic charges, and the variable delivery, storage and transport, and cost of gas charges per gigajoule. This change will align the natural gas billing components across all of the regions that FortisBC serves.
FortisBC is a utility regulated by the BCUC and all rate changes have been approved by the BCUC. For more information about rates, visit: Natural gas rates.
Items on a residential customer’s bill
The basic charge is a flat daily fee that partially recovers the fixed costs of our system, whether or not you are using any natural gas, as long as you are connected to the system. The basic charge is reviewed by the BCUC annually.
The delivery charge is based on consumption and pays for the cost of safely and reliably delivering gas through our system to your home or business. This helps cover the costs of maintaining our natural gas distribution system, earn a return on the amounts invested in our business and fund improvements to meet customers' needs. Delivery charges are reviewed by the BCUC annually.
Storage and transport
Storage and transport reflects the prices we pay to other companies to store and transport gas through their pipelines and infrastructure. We do not mark up these costs, and they are reviewed quarterly and set annually by the BCUC.
Cost of gas
Every three months, FortisBC reviews natural gas and propane cost of gas rates with the BCUC to make sure rates passed on to customers cover the cost of purchasing the gas on their behalf.
- Factors affecting the market price of natural gas and propane in North America include weather, supply and demand and economic conditions.
- Propane prices are also influenced by global oil markets.
- FortisBC does not mark up the cost of gas, customers pay what we pay.
Other charges and taxes
Other charges and taxes include the B.C. carbon tax, Clean Energy Levy, goods and services tax (GST) and, in some municipalities, a municipal operating fee. These charges are set by various levels of government and collected by FortisBC on their behalf. FortisBC does not gain revenue from these charges.
FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs approximately 2,300 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,260 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 49,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Energy Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit fortisinc.com.